"I just want to win the state championship so I'll take care of that afterward," said DePietro, who committed to Northwestern in the summer. "I talk to my offensive line coach every week, and coach (Pat) Fitzgerald probably once a month, so I stay in touch."
DePietro made it to campus once during the season, a jaunt to watch the Wildcats take on Michigan State, but travel wasn't conducive to making more visits.
Lancaster Catholic usually plays on Friday nights, which meant getting home late, awaking early Saturday to fly to Chicago and then drive to Evanston, and watch a game.
"After the Michigan State game, I think I went to bed at 5:30 (p.m.)," DePietro said. The 6-foot-4, 280-pound DePietro plays left tackle for the Crusaders, but he projects as an interior lineman with the Wildcats.
However, his college career is not on his mind, especially after a wild 23-20 last-minute win against West Catholic High (Philadelphia) in the semifinals.
After Lancaster lost a fumble into the end zone with three minutes to play, the defense forced a punt with a little more than one minute remaining. A bad snap gave Lancaster the ball on the 11-yard line and the Crusaders scored on a second-down throw.
West Catholic then had a pass intercepted near the Lancaster goal line with nine seconds remaining to seal the win.
"That's got to be the great game of high school football that I've ever played," DePietro said. "It's unbelievable. I'm in absolute disbelief. I never would have guessed we'd be in this position, 15-0 and heading to the state championship game.
"Somehow we pulled it together and found a way to win."
It is a crowning achievement for DePietro, who played in the state title game as a sophomore.
"We needed to get back to Hershey," he said. "That was the only way I wanted to end my high school career was at Hershey, and now I get a chance to do that.
"There's no words to describe it. I felt it back in 2009 (when Lancaster went), but this feels so much better now that I'm a senior and a key player."